The continued screwing of the Midex Pilots

Stanky

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From the JB message board:

Sep 13, 2009 7:42 pm Post subject: The Continued Screwing of the Midex Pilots Here's an ALPA Fastread from the Midwest MEC. For those of you that don't know, Republic was hired to fly "Connection" service for Midwest and offered such a cost savings over the mainline fleet that they eventually ended up taking over everything. The Midwest pilots will all be gone by December, replaced with $85/hr captains and $37/hr FO's flying a mix of e170s and e190s. They ended up buying Midex, but seem to be uninterested in merging senority lists.

There's a lot of really good, really experienced guys there, I've never met a classier group, and there careers are ending. Who do you think is next?


MEA Merger Committee Update

By Capt. Don Till, Chairman



Last week, the MEA Merger Committee requested and received a list of seven arbitrators from the NMB. When we asked the Republic pilots to participate in selecting an arbitrator, they refused, responding that the RAH pilots would not participate in this process until “ALL AFFECTED PARTIES” (i..e., Frontier, Midwest, Mokulele, and Republic pilots) are involved. The fact is that, as of today, the only party affected is the Midwest pilots.



Republic’s plans for Mokulele are unclear. In March 2009, RAH gained 50% interest in Mokulele, and increased that interest to 55% in May. Yet there appears to have been no operational integration of Republic’s and Mokulele’s operations in Hawaii. RAH increased its ownership to 89% in July, but again, there has been no operational integration implemented or announced and both the Republic pilots and the Mokulele pilots have yet to be affected by control.



Additionally, the Frontier pilots contend that they will remain separate, claiming that Republic CEO Bryan Bedford has maintained that this is also his goal. This is consistent with Article 9, § 9.01 (a) of the August 13, 2009, second amended and restated investment agreement between RAH and the Frontier entities which provides that, once Frontier emerges from reorganization and RAH takes over ownership:



“Subject to the provisions of the Railway Labor Act, upon the Closing, the Investor will (i) be bound by the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between Frontier Airlines and the Frontier Airlines Pilots Association as amended and in effect as of the Closing (the “FAPA CBA”), (ii) recognize Frontier Airlines Pilots Association as the representative of Frontier Airlines pilots and (iii) assume employment of such pilots represented by the Frontier Pilots Association. Upon and after the Closing, the Company shall continue to be responsible for implementing and carrying out its obligations under the FAPA CBA.”



This provision in the RAH-Frontier investment agreement appears to be in breach of the IBT's agreement with Republic which states:



Article 1. D.

3. The Company, Subsidiary of the Company, the Company’s Parent or Subsidiary of the Parent shall not establish any new airline (alter ego or otherwise) or acquire a controlling interest in any carrier whether directly or through the Parent or another Subsidiary of the Parent, and maintain it as a separate carrier. A “Controlling Interest” or “Control” means the ownership of an equity interest representing more than fifty percent (50%) of the outstanding capital stock of an entity or voting securities representing more than fifty percent (50%) of the total voting power of outstanding securities then entitled to vote generally in the election of such entity’s board of directors or other governing body.



Recently, I received a letter from the Republic pilots informing us that, “The Teamsters are filing a Grievance against Republic Airways Holdings for the violation of our scope, in respect to the LOA which has been ratified between it, Frontier Airlines, and FAPA.”



Unfortunately, the Midwest pilot group is aware of just how long this process can take. Furthermore, we have no idea which party will prevail.. Meanwhile, in reviewing the Republic pilots’ CBA more closely, RAH’s actions in replacing Midwest’s flying with Republic’s equipment and pilots is in violation of the IBT contract:



H.5.

c. The operations of the Company and those of the other air carrier shall be kept separate unless and until the processes described in paragraph b above is completed and the seniority lists of the two pilot groups are integrated in accordance with Sections 3 and 13 of the Allegheny-Mohawk Labor Protective Provisions are completed. During such time of separate operations, neither aircraft nor pilots shall be interchanged without the Union’s written consent.



After the Republic pilots rejected our request to work together to choose an arbitrator and begin the process, we determined that it was in our pilot group’s best interest to move forward. Your Merger Committee—along with our outside merger counsel, John O’Brien Clarke of Highsaw, Mahoney, and Clarke—chose Mr. Frederic R. Horowitz as the arbitrator. He has agreed to hear our arbitration and we expect our first meeting the week of September 21, 2009. While we continue to make every effort to engage the Republic pilots in working with us, be assured that we are taking every legal action necessary to keep this process moving forward.



In related news, our outside merger counsel received a response from the Republic pilots’ merger counsel regarding our proposed seniority integration procedure agreement and replied on our behalf. These two documents have been posted on the MEC website.

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This is a publication of the Air Line Pilots Association, MEA Council 30.
 

johnsonrod

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Are the Midwest 717 pilots likely to be attractive to AirTran (given their extensive 717 operating experience) once AirTran starts to hire again? I realize nobody senior ever likes to start again at the bottom but... Just wondering. I hope they get picked up somewhere.
 

freightdogfred

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I don't know how "attractive" they could be, considering the Midwest MEC put out a statement (when Airtran was attempting a buyout) they were not interested in a Merger with Airtran, and fully supported their fearless leader Hoeksema and his band of merry men.

I'm pretty sure this was all duly noted by the poobahs at Airtran.
 
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FlyWolf

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Dude, for the 115,000 time, It was the $17 cash offer that the share holders took, we had no say, most of us would have loved to be bought by Airtran...jeees
 

PCL_128

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I have a feeling that the ATN MEC would be more than happy to push the company to give preferential hiring for former MEA pilots.
 

Minimaniac

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I understand why the IBT would rather integrate all lists at one time. It saves time, money, and could have major advantages for members of some pilot groups. Example, if Midwest were integrated today with a relative seniority formula (25% at Midwest to 25% on combined list), and then Frontier was integrated with a 1:2 ratio in six months, the Midwest pilots would end up worse off than if they were granted relative seniority on the overall final combined list.

That said, I fully support Midwest's attempts to keep the integration process moving. IBT may have a nice plan, but Bedford's contract violation tactics are obviously slowing the IBT plan. Midwest guys deserve closure so that they can move on with their lives and either stay or leave.

As for that ALPA post, RAH did not make the 717's go away. If Midwest mangement had chosen to replace the 717's, or to simply pay up and keep their existing fleet, then there would never have been a need to contract with RAH. I don't know about backroom management dealings, but I do think there is a lot less conspiracy in this world than we tend to believe. RAH was contracted to replace LOST (or soon to be lost via ended leases with Boeing) airframes, not to replace airframes that would otherwise have stayed in service. Where was the fuss when Midwest brought Skywest onboard to fly some routes?
 

cq43vt17t

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Where was the fuss when Midwest brought Skywest onboard to fly some routes?
Midwest didn't fly MSN-MKE and routes as such. The E170 is playing as a mainline replacement, not as a replacement for the formal Skyway routes. RAH is pretty much eliminating Midwest.
 

elguapo9

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Meanwhile there's RAH FO's salivating at the upgrade opportunities....

One pilot's growth is another pilot's job.
 

freightdogfred

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Dude, for the 115,000 time, It was the $17 cash offer that the share holders took, we had no say, most of us would have loved to be bought by Airtran...jeees
As I recall it was not only the Midwest MEC espousing this, but the MKE press, rank and file pilots, check airmen who worked in the same facility down in ATL. There was a general rallying cry by Hoeksema to "keep Midwest our Midwest", save the cookie, blah blah blah and most if not all the troops bought into it. The mgmt. at FL are known to be a vindictive group and have long memories. The airline bizness is a fickle bizness, your last copilot might be your next chief pilot, so conduct yourself accordingly.
 

Full of LUV

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Interesting locals.....

Nobody went to Republic because of their awesome pay-rates or work rules thats for sure.
No, it was for the interisland flying in Hawaii, or the cold winters in MKE. There is probably more variety in the RAH system to bid now than most airlines, bar the "legacies".
 

airlinepilot

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The lawyers will love this one. If RAH does F9 differently then boy does that open the door.....
 

RedRum

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I don't know about backroom management dealings, but I do think there is a lot less conspiracy in this world than we tend to believe. RAH was contracted to replace LOST (or soon to be lost via ended leases with Boeing) airframes, not to replace airframes that would otherwise have stayed in service. Where was the fuss when Midwest brought Skywest onboard to fly some routes?
Mr. EMB-175 driver,

There is no conspiracy. This is pretty cut and dry. If the leases were up on the MD-80s and the 717's, then Midwest could have extended leases or purchased newer aircraft and used MIDWEST PILOTS!

Whatever you need to tell yourself to feel better while watching the MidEx pilots suffer, go ahead and do it. But don't try to sugar coat it. MidEx pilots are being completely outsourced to an airline that has cheaper labor. Period. End of sentence. It is plain and simple.

What is ALPA going to do to help the MidEx pilots? As a fellow ALPA pilot, I am fed up with this type of thing happening in our profession. We all need to stand together and unite on this. Maybe the IBT will come around and see this situation for what it is...a complete sham and an outrage for all MidEx pilots. If pilots from other ALPA carriers don't stand behind MidEx and their pilots, this is going to set a nasty precedence for future dealings.

Enough is enough. MidEx needs solidarity RIGHT NOW. I encourage everyone to call their ALPA reps and find out what our National officers are doing to deal with this scourge of a situation.
 

Stanky

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Mr. EMB-175 driver,

There is no conspiracy. This is pretty cut and dry. If the leases were up on the MD-80s and the 717's, then Midwest could have extended leases or purchased newer aircraft and used MIDWEST PILOTS!

Whatever you need to tell yourself to feel better while watching the MidEx pilots suffer, go ahead and do it. But don't try to sugar coat it. MidEx pilots are being completely outsourced to an airline that has cheaper labor. Period. End of sentence. It is plain and simple.

What is ALPA going to do to help the MidEx pilots? As a fellow ALPA pilot, I am fed up with this type of thing happening in our profession. We all need to stand together and unite on this. Maybe the IBT will come around and see this situation for what it is...a complete sham and an outrage for all MidEx pilots. If pilots from other ALPA carriers don't stand behind MidEx and their pilots, this is going to set a nasty precedence for future dealings.

Enough is enough. MidEx needs solidarity RIGHT NOW. I encourage everyone to call their ALPA reps and find out what our National officers are doing to deal with this scourge of a situation.
I couldn't have said that better myself. The race to the bottom is accelerating rapidly. I'm tired of watching good guys get screwed by kids who are willing to do anything just to fly a shiny jet.

#37/hr might look good when you're 22 years old, it's far less attractive when you 45.

If it doesn't stop now, when will it. By the way, I don't work for Midwest, but I have a lot of friends there.
 

airlinepilot

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What are the pay scales for Frontier right now compared to what Midwest has?
 

Minimaniac

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Mr. EMB-175 driver,

If the leases were up on the MD-80s and the 717's, then Midwest could have extended leases or purchased newer aircraft and used MIDWEST PILOTS!
Do some research, and ask why Midwest lost the 717's. Boeing did not just magically take them away, and Midwest did not just give them back saying "no thank you, we found a cheaper airplane."

Once you understand why Midwest lost the planes (failure to make lease payments over a period of AND a failed attempt to muscle Boeing into accepting reduced lease rates), you will understand how RAH came into the picture. Midwest lost their planes, and had a schedule to fly. RAH had 12 planes with no work. Desperation brought these companies together. Midwest management screwed themselves. The pilots, like always, were just faceless casualties. RAH pilots are flying RAH aircraft, because doing otherwise would be a concession of our scope. If you want to hate me for upholding MY scope and not giving up an inch of it, then fine. It seems like holding on to original scope is NOT the industry norm anyhow, and I can see how that makes me different.

By the way, IF Midwest had just paid their leases, or stuck with the first agreed upon reduction in lease payment with Boeing, then Midwest would still have Midwest pilots behind the controls of 717's. I want Midwest pilots to fly their own metal at their own airline. But they lost their planes through management idiocy. If you use my company's metal, you are going to use my company's pilots. Get your own planes, and I would have been happy to see the Midwest flying disappear from the lines here.
 
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Minimaniac

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From the JB message board:

They ended up buying Midex, but seem to be uninterested in merging senority lists.

IBT 747 is interested in merging the seniority lists. What they want to do is get all 5 lists merged at once with every airline's input. Midwest wants to force the issue quickly.

If Midwest rushes through the process, they stand to gain a better outcome of integration if RAH appears uncooperative in the eyes of the arbitrator. What Midwest is losing, however, is the chance to use their leverage in an overall combination of lists. YX will not have a voice in the Frontier integration if they try to beat down the Teamsters now, and the truth is getting access to the F9 Airbuses is the only way YX pilots will get to keep the pay they are used to in the near future. But, if everyone at YX is happy being limited to the Embraer for the next 10 years, then by all means force the issue.

The Frontier/RAH deal is almost complete, but there are still a few steps to go until RAH will have actually acquired F9. Until then, IBT cannot complete any f9 integration. What the IBT wants is for YX to wait for another month so that substantial negotiations can take place, and so that all parties can talk with FULL knowledge of where RAH is going, what the fleet plan will be, what each separate seniority list looks like, etc. It seems more advantageous to barter a position on a total list, not just a partial one.

Personally, I think each integration should be handled separately, in the order of acquisition. That means Mokulele comes first. If those guys were to drag out arbitration, I hope everyone understands that it would not be possible for RAH to talk integration with YX until we knew exactly what the combines Mokulele/RAH list would look like. Either way, YX would have to wait. But, YX would be complete before Lynx and F9. Individual integrations could take years. A joint integration between all five airlines could be completed in a year or less.
 
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likeitis

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IBT 747 is interested in merging the seniority lists. What they want to do is get all 5 lists merged at once with every airline's input. Midwest wants to force the issue quickly.

If Midwest rushes through the process, they stand to gain a better outcome of integration if RAH appears uncooperative in the eyes of the arbitrator. What Midwest is losing, however, is the chance to use their leverage in an overall combination of lists. YX will not have a voice in the Frontier integration if they try to beat down the Teamsters now, and the truth is getting access to the F9 Airbuses is the only way YX pilots will get to keep the pay they are used to in the near future. But, if everyone at YX is happy being limited to the Embraer for the next 10 years, then by all means force the issue.

The Frontier/RAH deal is almost complete, but there are still a few steps to go until RAH will have actually acquired F9. Until then, IBT cannot complete any f9 integration. What the IBT wants is for YX to wait for another month so that substantial negotiations can take place, and so that all parties can talk with FULL knowledge of where RAH is going, what the fleet plan will be, what each separate seniority list looks like, etc. It seems more advantageous to barter a position on a total list, not just a partial one.

Personally, I think each integration should be handled separately, in the order of acquisition. That means Mokulele comes first. If those guys were to drag out arbitration, I hope everyone understands that it would not be possible for RAH to talk integration with YX until we knew exactly what the combines Mokulele/RAH list would look like. Either way, YX would have to wait. But, YX would be complete before Lynx and F9. Individual integrations could take years. A joint integration between all five airlines could be completed in a year or less.
The midwest pilots are actually using those years of experience to see that the IBt's plan is retarded and will play into managements hand. IBT's concerned only about cost and isn't looking at the big picture. I agree that the Midwest pilots could get a better outcome with a 5 airline merger but when you have management and the F9 pilot group against merging the seniority list. Well let me tell you it ain't going to happen or if it does it'll be 5+ years down the road and by then the Rev's little experiment will be TU. So where does that leave the midwest pilots?
 
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